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Exclusive: MSI Plans To Set Up 20 Experiential Stores By End Of 2021 In India
The demand for laptops and notebooks has increased exponentially in 2020 due to e-learning and work from home culture. In fact, a new report from research firm IDC suggests that the gaming notebooks PCs reported the highest growth during October to December period.
Similarly, MSI, which is known for its gaming laptops launched products into a business category. The company has launched three series-- the Summit, Prestige, and the Modern series of laptops. Meanwhile, we got a chance to speak with Green Lin, Regional Marketing Manager, MSI regarding plans for its upcoming products and experiential stores.
Tell us about how and when the brand entered India. What was your focus while entering such a diverse market?
We expanded our business operations to over 120 countries and India is one of our key markets as the past five years have seen a huge growth in the gaming industry with major tournaments taking place here. Overall, we want to make sure that we fulfil our consumers' needs by introducing the best-in-class products in each category.
How did the laptop segment perform in 2020?
2020 has been a challenging yet interesting year for the laptop segment. With the lockdown in place, a lot of corporate offices switched to the work from the home format and people's demand for a high-performance laptop with good mobility became a must. Additionally, with schools shutting down, children started attending online classes, and demand for laptops went up. Therefore, E-learning and remote working gave a boost to sales of notebooks in 2020.
Smartphone companies are focusing on gaming. So do you think gaming smartphones are a threat to laptops?
Mobile gaming is currently estimated to be over 50 percent of the overall gaming segment. However, we see this as more of an opportunity rather than a threat for gaming brands like ours as we are now witnessing that many Indian players are developing good e-sports skills from an early age. While we see a lot of people playing PUBG on their smartphones, it is more for consumers who are on-the-go and looking for entertainment but at the same time, a lot of consumers depend on MSI products to have the best gaming experience as we have very advanced technology, unrivaled performance, and outstanding design.
What is the unique proposition that the brand is offering in terms of service?
MSI is coming up with multiple service centers. In terms of the warranty, MSI offers two years of warranty, which includes one year of international warranty without charging anything extra from the consumer.
Gaming laptops are generally costlier than other laptops. So what kind of challenges you are facing?
We have never considered price point as a challenge, the level of laptop would be defined by the specific need of an individual, whether they are looking for a thin & light gaming laptop or they want uncompromised performance. Therefore, as a premium laptop brand, our aim is to provide a comprehensive line-up that can cater to the different needs of different users from across the field.
You have recently stepped into the business segment. Tell us a little about the kind of products you have launched and key innovations you have introduced?
We witnessed that the growing trend of remote working requires business laptops. Laptops need to have high performance, enterprise-grade security and must cater to a wide range of requirements of the consumers. Keeping this in mind, we decided to enter the market with MSI's Business & Productivity series.
Tell us about upcoming products. How many products are you planning to bring this year to India?
With three line up (Gaming, Content Creation & Business & Productivity) that caters to different functional needs of our users, we ensure whenever there's a new chipset or technology, we are the first to introduce the same into the market. So, we will keep improving & developing a new model in each series.
What kind of growth you have received last year and expectations from this year?
In the first three years, we saw 100 percent sales growth y-o-y and continue to clock robust numbers. We have also witnessed double-digit growth in India ever since we have entered. While there has been a 10 percent growth in the segment globally, the Indian market is growing ten times faster.
Tell us about your plans related to experiential stores?
Currently, we have 8 exclusive experiential stores in the country including Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Coimbatore & Lucknow, and have plans to open 20 more experiential stores in India by the end of 2021.